- Upmanu Lall: 13,000 US dams are identified as high hazard, meaning failure would likely result in loss of life
- Striking images of the Oroville crisis remind us that these dangers are not abstract problems, he writes
Upmanu Lall is the Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering at Columbia University and the director of the Columbia Water Center. Michelle Ho is a post-doctoral research scientist at the Columbia Water Center. After this article was initially published, the Columbia Water Center said that Ho did research for the piece but did not co-author it. The views expressed here are those of the author.
(CNN)At Oroville Dam in California this week, a major disaster was only one bout of heavy rains away. Luckily, the quick response of civil servants has averted a crisis, and with the water level at Lake Oroville dropping, authorities lifted the mandatory evacuation order and the nearly 200,000 evacuees made their way home.